On Wednesday, one year to the day after President Obama signed the historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Recovery Act awards to states, tribal governments, cities, counties and transit agencies across the country to fund 51 innovative transportation projects.
The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program was included in ARRA to spur a national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region or the nation. Projects funded with the $1.5 billion allocated in the ARRA include improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities.
In an overwhelming show of demand for the program, the U.S. Department of Transportation was flooded with more than 1,400 applications from all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia requesting funding for almost $60 billion worth of projects — 40 times the amount available through the program. Sixty percent of the funding will go to economically distressed areas, which are home to 39 percent of the U.S. population.
Awardees were selected based on their contribution to economic competitiveness of the nation, improving safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including the private sector.
Chosen projects, distributed throughout 41 states and the District of Columbia, range in size from under $4 million to over $100 million, and are found in both rural and urban communities from Alaska to Maine and Hawaii to South Carolina.
The U.S. Department of Transportation required rigorous economic justifications for projects more than $100 million and will require all recipients to report on their activities on a routine basis. A complete list of recipients can be viewed here.